The Best Duke and Mike Krzyzewski Prop Bets For Legendary College Basketball Coach’s Final Season

Coach K exclusively reveals to Maxim whether or not he’ll get a technical foul this season.

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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski got his season off to a tremendous start Tuesday night with a victory over No. 10 Kentucky, covering the MaximBet basketball odds as small favorites, and once again, Coach K did not get a technical foul.

That makes it more than five years since Krzyzewski got “T’d up,” a fairly astounding run of non-confrontation that may or may not last through his final season as a collegiate head coach. 

“I haven’t had a tech for a long time, and no, I am not planning to,” Krzykzewski told Maxim in a phone interview. “I got a few in my younger days, and I’m wondering whether some official has one planned as sort of a farewell present.”

The last time it happened was on February 16, 2016 against Louisville, when Grayson Allen (now playing for the Milwaukee Bucks), got bloodied by an elbow and Coach K got into a ref’s face. 

In that postgame news conference, when asked what he was disputing when he got a technical, Krzyzewski sarcastically quipped, “You want a list? It will be in my next book when I’m 80.”

That means it will be six more years before Krzyzewski tells everything about that final technical foul … unless there is another one called at some point during the upcoming NCAA season. Duke’s schedule is loaded with cupcakes to begin and tough ACC opponents at the end, as well as a marquee matchup against No. 1 Gonzaga and top recruit Chet Holmgren on November 26.

Krzyzewski has been listed as a +850 longshot to be ejected from a game, according to MaximBet, which also put the over/under on technical fouls called on Coach K at 0.5. That’s right, the total is 1/2 of a tech. So if he gets T’ed up just once, the over cashes with ease.

These things are exceedingly rare. Coach K got a technical foul two seasons earlier than his last, in 2014, when he threw a magic marker in disgust during a game against Louisville. Duke basketball being what Duke basketball is, somebody opened a Twitter account called @CoachK’sPen that has now been dormant for six years.

No word yet on whether current Duke students are taking to TikTok or Instagram to predict a national championship for the Blue Devils, who are coming off a tumultuous 13-11 season. However, the college basketball futures odds at MaximBet are promising, with Duke coming in at +1800, which is tied for the eighth-best odds on the board.

Last year was not Coach K’s most memorable season, but make no mistake: The guy has a heck of a memory. Back during the 2010 World Championship in Turkey when he was coaching Steph Curry and Team USA, the Americans were getting ready to play Russia in an elimination game, which prompted reporters to write about the last time an American team played a (mostly) Russian team during the controversial gold medal game at the Munich Olympics.

Folks in USAB’s traveling party took wagers that day on whether any reporters would ask Mike Bantom, who was a member of the Team USA contingent at the time and also played on that 1972 team, about his memories of that day.

Those who bet “no” ended up losing. And not only did Banton speak at length, but Coach K recalled how he did not watch the 1972 gold medal game because he was conducting live artillery field exercises in Korea, being an Army officer at the time (Krzyzewski would go on to coach Army from 1975 to 1980 before taking over at Duke.)

So, we will be seeing a lot of love for the coach this season, which will be his final one as head coach of the Duke Blue Devils. And MaximBet has set the over/under for the length of his standing ovation when his team opens at home against Army at 30.5 seconds, which seems like the most certain “over” bet in the history of gambling. 

The Cameron Crazies will not stop for at least two minutes. And that comes from a guy who was once inside Coach K’s on-campus office interviewing Jay Williams after the former No. 2 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft was severely injured in a motorcycle crash.

Coach K has always been a great storyteller and grew close to many of the top NBA players, particularly Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, by coaching them with Team USA from 2007 through 2016.

There was always speculation that he would one day become an NBA coach (much like there is with Villanova’s Jay Wright), but at age 76 he would clearly rather pull a Johnny Carson than a Jimmy Boeheim.

Duke, which defeated Kentucky 79-71 Tuesday night, has Campbell, Gardner-Webb, Lafayette and The Citadel on its schedule prior to the big game against Gonzaga, so a 6-0 start would seem rather likely.

MaximBet has set the over/under on Krzyzewski’s 2021-22 win total at 20.5, which seems about right since he also has a four-game home stretch against South Carolina State, Appalachian State, Cleveland State and Virginia Tech prior to Christmas. 

After that he will have to face six ranked teams as the Blue Devils go through their ACC gauntlet, which concludes on the final day of the season, March 5, against the rival Tar Heels. Duke plays 31 games, so they could absorb 10 losses and still hit the over.

As for the possibility of a tech, “Maybe he should take one for old times’ sake,” former USA Basketball CEO Jerry Colangelo says.

“He has really developed the ability to control his emotions, and sure, he gets a little leeway. Some coaches can get techs just for looking sideways at an official. As he has aged, it isn’t just that he’s subdued, he’s under control. If he were to get one, he would have to be really, really off the mark because he’d have earned it.”

So there you have it: a very strong “maybe” from an 80-year-old who knows Coach K about as well as anyone aside from Krzyzewski’s wife, Mickie. So what y’all want to wager is your call. 

In another set of never-before-seen odds, MaximBet has paired up total victories between select college teams and their in-state NBA counterparts. For example, the Michigan Wolverines are slight favorites to win more games than the Detroit Pistons this season, and the Houston Rockets have a 6.5-win margin over the Houston Cougars.

You can see all of MaximBet’s college basketball prop odds here:

And if you like Holmgren for Player of the Year, you can get him at +1200 long before Sam Presti makes him the No. 1 overall pick of the 2022 NBA draft. 

Good luck, Maxim readers, and please wager wisely. You are all too smart, too savvy and too cosmopolitan to do anything else. Composure is the key. Just ask Coach K.

Follow Chris Sheridan on Twitter @SheridanHoops.

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